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Negin Farsad: How to Make White People Laugh

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Date and time
Friday, June 03, 2016

**Negin Farsad** is an Iranian-American-Muslim female stand-up comedian who believes she can change the world through jokes. And yes, sometimes that includes fart jokes. Discussing her candid and uproarious memoir, _How to Make White People Laugh_ (2016), Farsad shares her personal experiences growing up as the "other" in an American culture that has no time for nuance. In fact, she longed to be black and/or Mexican at various points of her youth, you know, like normal kids. (Right? RIGHT?) Writing bluntly and hilariously about the elements of race we are often too politically correct to discuss, Farsad takes a long hard look at the iconography that still shapes our concepts of "black," "white," and "Muslim" today - and what it means when white culture defines the culture. She asks the important questions: What does it mean to have a hyphenated identity? How can we actually combat racism, stereotyping, and exclusion? Do Iranians get bunions at a higher rate than other ethnic groups? (She's asking for a friend.) In _How to Make White People Laugh_, Farsad tackles these questions with wit, humor, and incisive intellect. Along the way, she just might teach readers a thing or two about tetherball, _Duck Dynasty_, and wine slushies. (Photo: [Flickr/TED Conference](https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/18057607460/in/photolist-tvFXzE-DegHCD-tNhijk-tMWZdq-2zT5TP-4yfeQu-rkT9QM-4xeed2-E31tJH-DJ8Brj-DBLsN4-EbfEiB-DZPmTU-sRrn4e-sRrmMx-tNoLKX-GQ9Xz3-Hctwwj "Flickr Negin Farsad"), image cropped)

Negin Farsad is an American comedian, actor, writer, and filmmaker of Iranian descent, based in New York City. Like most comedians, she has a master's degree in African-American studies. She was named one of the 53 Funniest Women by the \_Huffington Post\_ and one of 10 Feminist Comedians to Watch by \_Paper\_ magazine, and was selected as a TEDFellow for her work in social justice comedy. Farsad has written for and appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, Nickelodeon, and others. She is director and producer of the feature films \_Nerdcore Rising\_ (2008), starring Weird Al Yankovic, and \_The Muslims Are Coming!\_ (2013), starring Jon Stewart, David Cross, and Lewis Black (both available on Netflix).